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Volume 16, Number 5
April 18, 2010

news

Also in the news section:
Panama gets a new Catholic archbishop
Proposed "Carrot Law" would set city bar and nightclub closing hours
Prosecutors adopt Canadian career criminal's defamation charge as their own
Labor leader's home raided, computer seized
Campaigning begins for University of Panama rector
Stiff criminal penalties for protests that block the streets
April Fools' Day Special --- First Obamacare Death Panel convenes in Panama

Many things that used to be in a Panama News Briefs feature of the website have now migrated to our constantly updated Facebook page, which you need not register with Facebook to see


Martinelli's Colombian minister puts the APT logo on the all-night revelry

Mulino wants to set closing hours on bars and nightclubs, Varelas want to be selling alcohol 24/7
The proposed "Carrot Law" and the Interior
photos and story by Eric Jackson

Government and Justice Minister José Raúl Mulino, soon to change his title to Minister of Security, has proposed a law to require Panama City nightclubs to close at 2 a.m. on Sundays through Wednesdays, and 3 a.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays. It's a law of a sort that most countries have, and when imposed in Bogota, Colombia by its unorthodox two-time Mayor Antanas Mockus the so-called "Carrot Law" is said to have reduced the casualty count from both drunken incidents of aggression among individuals and from traffic accidents.

Ah, but the Hermanos Varela are the country's main liquor distillers (Seco Herrerano, Ron Abuelo, etc.) and count among their number Vice President and Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Varela and National Assembly president José Luis Varela. Their family company's Pub Herrerano is the nation's largest mobile liquor and music establishment. His excellency the vice president assures the Panamanian people that the proposed law would do nothing to reduce crime and is unfair. "You can't punish a whole country for isolated incidents," he said in an April 18 RPC Radio interview.

But for many people who live on or around the capital's Calle Uruguay, the idea of a closing time holds the promise of an opportunity for a few more hours of sleep. Mulino's proposal is not only popular in those circles, but there are also those legislators who say that the law ought to apply to San Miguelito, and to casinos.

Meanwhile in the Interior...

"We're going to six in the morning!" screeched the DJ over the deafening techno-pop music coming out of the Club de Playa in San Carlos, sometime after 2 a.m. one recent morning. Everybody on that end of town heard him, and it. However, it wasn't as bad as the Miss Bikini pageant. For that, the intoxicated partiers and the loud music started at 8 p.m. and ended at 8 a.m. All with the blessing of another minister, Panama Tourism Authority chief Salomón Shamah --- or at least the authority he heads put its imprimateur on the noise.

So, what to do when the neighborhood gets blasted out like that? Why, put it in stereo. There's another beach discotheque under construction around the corner, and the adjacent sex club --- waving itself at the neighbors in the midst of a residential area --- is already open.

So not only are there "Carrot Law" supporters in the city, there are also people in the Interior who would have it extended across the country, because they don't want to have their sleep disrupted by the Varela brothers' drunken orgies or anyone else's.

Nice area --- but what does being in a high noise zone do to home values?











Yes, they always talk about the jobs that will be created. So would you want your daughter or sister working here, at this fine establishment in a formerly quiet San Carlos residential neighborhood?



Also in the news section:
Panama gets a new Catholic archbishop
Proposed "Carrot Law" would set city bar and nightclub closing hours
Prosecutors adopt Canadian career criminal's defamation charge as their own
Labor leader's home raided, computer seized
Campaigning begins for University of Panama rector
Stiff criminal penalties for protests that block the streets
April Fools' Day Special --- First Obamacare Death Panel convenes in Panama

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